His Lucky Day

Tim Goldstone

April 20, 2022


He couldn’t believe his luck. Later, he’d be getting a spoon, but for now he’d managed to get in round the back of a hut through a hole in the rotten wood on the railway-track side, and inside among the broken glass scattered over the floor he’d found an oily rag, a filthy mirror, and a dog brush matted with hair. His luck was changing alright.

When he clambered back out of the hut, he knew, despite the fresh cuts over his palms, he must look a lot more presentable than when he’d first crawled in. He smiled, certain the new shelter he’d heard about, only two hours walk away now, would have no reason to turn him away; and although he could no longer accurately recall what it was like to have these things, he was already imagining having a roof over him, walls around him, the feeling of a mattress underneath his body to support the tired damp bones that gave him his limp and shuffle.

There were many hours before the shelter opened, but he began making his way there immediately so he could wait outside because he knew once these places were full they turned you away. He’d heard it was always a good thick soup and it was hot and there was bread to have with it and you didn’t even need to bring your own spoon because they would give you a spoon, a proper metal one, and he’d heard you could keep it, yes you could, you could keep it so that you could put it in your pocket and take it with you when you had to leave the following morning.

The hostel volunteers did what they could, what they could afford, but there was only ever enough funding for that one meal each evening, and there was no accommodation. But surprisingly, what proved the most problematic of the rumours was the free spoon.

He smiled at the thought of that soup, and how he would drink it straight from the bowl and then wipe up what was left at the bottom and around the sides with his piece of bread so that he wouldn’t have to use the spoon at all and that way he could keep it clean, and for the first time in a long time he looked ahead to tomorrow, when he would have his spoon, and in his imagination he walked with a confident stride, no longer stiff and aching, no longer hungry, no longer tired, the proud owner of a shining metal spoon.

Tim Goldstone has roamed widely, including throughout the UK, Western and Eastern Europe, and North Africa, and currently lives in Wales. His short stories and poems are published in numerous journals and anthologies, including 11 Mag Berlin, The Offing, Crannóg, The Cafe Irreal, Rough Diamond Poetry Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Daily Drunk, The Mechanics’ Institute Review Anthology, Veil: Journal of Darker Musings, The Mambo Academy of Kitty Wang, and Pocket Fiction. Prose sequence read on stage at The Hay Festival. Poetry recently presented on Digging for Wales. Twitter: @muddygold